The Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency was created by the General Assembly in 1908 as the Office of the Chief Drug Inspector. The Chief Drug Inspector (CDI) was originally appointed by the Commissioner of Agriculture, upon recommendation from the State Board of Pharmacy. The office was created to ensure and protect the health, safety and welfare of Georgia citizens by enforcing Georgia laws and rules pertaining to manufactured or compounded drugs and to ensure only licensed facilities or persons dispensed or distributed pharmaceuticals.

In 1939, the General Assembly passed the Dangerous Drug Act which allowed the Board of Pharmacy (Board) to appoint the CDI, and all of the CDI complaints to be reported to the Board. In 1964, the law was again changed to give the CDI and his assistant inspector the authority and power that Sheriffs possess to make arrests. In 1968, the Board changed its rules to require all inspectors to be pharmacists.

In 1976, the State Merit System changed the name of the Office to that of the Georgia Drugs and Narcotics Agency, and the CDI became the Director. This change was made to best reflect the duties and authority of the CDI, now known as GDNA. Today, GDNA is under the direction of Director Dennis Troughton.